Shared Decision-Making and Children With Disabilities: Pathways to Consensus

Pediatrics. 2017 Jun;139(6):e20170956. doi: 10.1542/peds.2017-0956.


Shared decision-making (SDM) promotes family and clinician collaboration, with ultimate goals of improved health and satisfaction. This clinical report provides a basis for a systematic approach to the implementation of SDM by clinicians for children with disabilities. Often in the discussion of treatment plans, there are gaps between the child's/family's values, priorities, and understanding of perceived "best choices" and those of the clinician. When conducted well, SDM affords an appropriate balance incorporating voices of all stakeholders, ultimately supporting both the child/family and clinician. With increasing knowledge of and functional use of SDM skills, the clinician will become an effective partner in the decision-making process with families, providing family-centered care. The outcome of the process will support the beneficence of the physician, the authority of the family, and the autonomy and well-being of the child.

MeSH terms

  • Caregivers
  • Child
  • Consensus*
  • Decision Making*
  • Disabled Children*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Parents
  • Patient Participation*
  • Professional-Family Relations